Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 1) 437

"Right there is the problem with the USA."HOW DARE YOU CRITICISE ME!!!!" "

Exactly. Its none of you're F'n business. And it's every individual's right to use as much energy has he or she can pay for.

Comparing UK to US is apples and oranges. Our transportation alone is going to require vastly more energy because the country is almost 3000 miles "wide" and 1500 miles "tall." There's lots of open areas with very sparse population. This makes things like public transportation near impossible to do economically.

As for heating an individual home, the midwest this year and many days where the HIGH temperature for the day was something like seven below zero, and that was fahrenheit. UK has something called the North Atlantic Drift that comes from the Caribbean and helps warm it.

Yeah, my own winter-time KwH is around 1700 per month right now, but this place is all-electric, too - water heating, house heating, water well pumping, electric cooking, etc. etc. Match it if you can - remember, no using natural gas, oil, etc. to heat. I don't think you can. I have about 1700 sq. ft. and here all by myself, out in the boonies. No natural gas to use, which would be far cheaper.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 1) 437

Hey, I love the Tesla and really want one, but $100K is $100K, and it ain't happenin' 'til the $100K is maybe $30K. That would be the "magic battery" at work.

And I do a lot of those long distance drives. I have a destination in Arizona that I frequent. I live in Virginia. I was there last month. It's about 2600 miles when you go down I-95 and hang a right at Jacksonville, then take I-10 the rest of the way. Its really weird to look at your Garmin GPS and the "next turn" is 1600 miles away at an exit onto Valencia in Tucson. But anyway, it took a leisurely 4 days to do that with about 2 - 3 fillups per day. They were about 5 minutes each. It would have taken probably an extra day to let the car sit there and charge 100% each time.

Quick recharge is the same mechanism at work as is hauling stuff. Lots of people have pickup trucks that get terrible mileage but that they drive to work and everywhere else because they sometimes have to haul stuff - boats, 4X8 sheets of plywood, etc. They don't have the money to buy 2 vehicles, something that gets great mileage but won't haul much more than a briefcase, and then something that will tow the boat. So, they buy something that will tow the boat, and drive it everywhere 'cuz its their only vehicle. I'd have to keep my Subaru WRX for the Arizona (and other places I go for the same reason as Arizona, and they're all over the US - its 3 years old, has 116,000 miles on it) trip and just drive the Tesla when I could afford to wait for a charge - or if there was a supercharger available.

And I think we'd have to convert _all_ the transportation to electricity, including the 18 wheelers and the locomotives, because once cars and light trucks went away, the economy of scale of making gasoline and diesel would go away, they'd sell probably a small fraction of the amount they do now, so the price per gallon, to pay for all the hideously expensive activities associated with refining and transportation of it would force the price per gallon of the remaining gasoline and diesel to skyrocket. $20 / gallon? Maybe. Then you need to electrify jet air travel (how? I don't think there's a solution for that), boats, trains, 18-wheelers, etc.

Oh, I think the electricity for transport from the grid is going to take a lot of buildout of the grid. I have a scenario that I calculated once and saved, see if I can find it:

I found it, but Slashdot won't let me copy it in here - it says "filter error - please use fewer "junk" characters. Dunno what they're talking about, unless it is the carets I was using for powers of 10 that I was representing. Anyway, it'd take about 2.8 trillion dollars to build 164,000 wind turbines to power all of transportation that, or about $507 billion to do that in nuclear plants in order to provide electric with no pollution. Nukes and wind give us zero pollution. Didn't try solar since it only produces on some of the days and only in daylight. Really expensive, and that didn't even try to estimate building out the grid for electrics. If you're a photographer and attempt to photograph virtually any landscape, even in the near-wilderness, there's going to be a power wire running thru your picture. I contended with this while shooting the Apache Trail just east of Phoenix last month. Wires everywhere, but it'd get markedly worse to make transportation go on electricity. I'm still for doing that, but there will be costs in both dollars and esthetics.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 1) 437

We're not talking about cars. We're talking about leaving the oil in the ground, and doing that requires that all of transportation be converted from petroleum fuel to electricity so it can run off the renewable fuels that can be used to make electricity.

Again, TCO doesn't matter to a guy that is only qualified by his bank to buy a car under $20K. I can go higher, but I would be crazy to attempt to buy a $100K car. Payments on a $100K car? Even at 10 years, that's really a lot of money per month. Buy a car like that, and not have any money left over to go anywhere in it. And then there's insurance on a $100K car... I'm guessing the insurance companies probably REQUIRE LoJack.

Yeah, I'd love to have a Tesla-like car myself, that would go 300 miles, and cost $30K. That would be what I need, that and being able to recharge it in 5 minutes ("Supercharger" - yeah, I'll pay the $65 or so for that - still cheap if I only have to do it on long trips) and I have even spent time drooling over a Tesla, but it ain't gonna happen at this address until those things are addressed. $30K / 5 minutes / refuel most anywhere. That's 50 years in the future, I think, if it happens at all. I'm 67 so I ain't never gonna see it.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 1) 437

Your Tesla. Remember when I said, "Cheap?" I meant cheap.

I did not mean that one car had to serve all functions, but that all functions must be served by an array of electric cars similar to the array of gasoline and diesel powered cars that service it now. In other words, the condition needs to exist that no one can select a car or truck or 18 wheeler or boat or locomotive or aircraft, etc. powered by gasoline that cannot also be selected and powered by electricity for roughly the same price. There is no battery available to enable this condition.

Did I say it right this time? I think you know what I meant.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 1) 437

No, that's not the magic battery we need. The magic battery we need will power the car (or diesel 18 wheeler, locomotive, ship, etc) for its normal range when using petroleum fuel, and cost the same as a vehicle that uses petroleum fuel. There is no such animal at present.

It doesn't need to power the car for the "average" needs of the "average" commuter, it needs to power the car for all the needs of all the current auto-buying public.

My Subaru WRX is insanely fast, will go over 300 miles on a tank of gas, is "rechargeable" in about 5 minutes, and cost $29K. There is no such vehicle even possible today. It would probably even be competitive if it costs maybe 1.2X or 1.3X the cost of my WRX due to the cost saving of electricity compared to gas, but the closest thing we have is the Chevy Volt, it being the only almost-reasonably-priced car that could serve to take me to Tucson and back as I just drove last month in the WRX in the time it took me to get there. I refueled in 5 minutes or so, as can the Volt. The Volt is much more expensive and much less "quick" and therefore much less "fun." Doesn't fill my wants and needs. I almost bought one once anyway, but would have kept the WRX, and couldn't afford both the Volt and the WRX. Get back to me when there's a Volt version of a Jeep Cherokee... That would be a "maybe."

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 2) 437

They can already make insane amounts of money if they're successful at making a magic battery for electric cars, because running cars on electricity is insanely cheap when you compare it to gasoline or even diesel. People would fall all over each other to buy them. People have been working on them for about a decade at least, but you know what? We still don't have it. Why? Because it is an extremely difficult problem. It may be a problem without a solution, as it my be impossible to store enough energy in a small enough space to use for powering a car without it costing more than the people can afford. It might just not be doable. We may NEVER get the magic battery, in which case we're going to have to, say, build railways where roads are, and have a catenary or other system to feed power to cars from an external source, and move cars that way. That may be too expensive too. But if a solution to this is not found, then the people can, in 200 - 300 years when the fossil fuels finally run out, look forward to living in poverty due to really expensive and scarce energy.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 2) 437

"But really you need to address your flagrant overuse of electricity."

Right there is one of my strongest objections to environmentalism and liberal politics, that being someone else thinking they have the right to tell someone else how to live.

He can use exactly as much energy as he is willing and able to pay for.

I recently logged 1705 KwH for a month of fairly cool winter month with geothermal heat. House about 1700 sq. ft. I'm living in Virginia right now, which has a lot of sun most of the time, but I'm originally from Ohio where I've seen the sun go behind clouds in November and not be seen again until sometime in January. Yeah, that happened one year, depressed the H out of me. Overcast sucks any time of year. But it'd take a H of a battery to be able to actually go off grid here, and in Ohio you better get a wind machine, 'cuz solar will let you down big-time. Hey, there isn't all THAT much wind in Ohio, either.

Comment: Re:Space for solar hasn't been much of a concern (Score 2) 437

"It will be fixed" is the same as saying, "we will do magic."

It won't be fixed until someone invents the magic battery. We also need the magic battery for making our transportation work on electricity. The magic battery needs to be cheap and small and cheap and high capacity and cheap and lightweight and cheap. That's not going to happen by magic. All these energy protesters and environmental protesters and carbon tax advocates are not going to help a damned bit unless they get their PHD's in electrochemistry, get their butts into a lab someplace, and invent for us the magic battery. THEN we might get somewhere with electricity from "renewable" sources.

Comment: Microsoft Wireless 3000 (Score 1) 452

by rally2xs (#49274191) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

This is the one I'm using now:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0021...

Has some useful hotkeys like zoom in and zoom out, one-key mute, volume up and volume down, calculator, etc. Full size with numerical keypad, no "ergonomic" layout to learn. It replaced a wired model 3000 that doesn't seem to be available any more, or at least I couldn't find it. Would rather have wired so I didn't have to worry about the battery, but this is good as long as the battery holds up - 2 AA batteries.

Comment: You're 6 Year Old Should Be Able To Use a SDC. (Score 1) 362

by rally2xs (#49186479) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Really, if someone has some scenario of the car malfunctioning, and a hero driver catching it before it hits a wall or goes over a cliff, they have another think coming. Nobody would be that quick. These self-driving cars are going to either be good enough that you can get in and snooze all the way to work, or they will be worthless.

The thing that will really stop SDC's from happening are the laws. The gov't isn't much going to like giving up its highway robbery known as speeding tickets so will not alter the speed limit. The SDC will have to be programmed for the speed limit, while "regular" cars will go flying by probably 15 - 20 mph faster. SDC occupants will not only be in grave danger from getting hit from behind, but will be unhappy at taking far longer to get anywhere than the lawbreaking "regular" drivers that are supplying the state will all the ticket revenues.

SDC's will work most everywhere else in the world except the USA.

Comment: Want a Strategy That Works? (Score 1) 341

by rally2xs (#49160707) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

First of all, "reducing" carbon emissions by political means - a carbon tax, etc, won't work. You just get more expensive fuel, with more widespread poverty amongst those that can't afford the more expensive fuel, and you get a marginal reduction built upon the bodies of the poor that die in subzero weather trying to sleep under a bridge, or the bodies of the kids whose parents can't afford to take them to the doctor for some preventive care.

No, the strategy that works is to give the world's manufacturing back to the USA. We can now do all our manufacturing power including heating with natural gas, which is 80% of the vaunted "hydrogen economy" since methane, the main ingredient of natural gas, is 4 parts hydrogen and 1 part carbon which we burn very, very cleanly.

And to get the world's manufacturing back to the USA, the USA must pass the Fair Tax. Understanding this requires understanding that the US income taxes are what have been sabotaging US business for decades. They are the reason that manufacturing shuts down in the USA and pops up in Canada, Mexico, Southeast Asia, Russia, anywhere but the USA.

The Fair Tax abolishes absolutely all the income taxes, as well as the IRS, and does not tax business at all. Bill Archer, a former head of the House Ways and Means committee, commissioned a survey of 500 foreign CEO's and asked them, "What would you do if the USA passed the Fair Tax?" 400 of them said that they would build their next factory in the USA. The other 100 said that they would move their company's headquarters to the USA.

Doing the world's manufacturing in the USA would go a long way toward combatting the injection of further CO2 into the atmosphere.

Other than that, we need to get some smart physicists who know electrochemistry to invent for us the magic (cheap, high capacity, cheap, lightweight, cheap, physically small, and cheap) battery so that we can use it in electric cars and power our transportation. It does no go to generate TeraWattHours of electricity with natural gas, wind, solar, and so forth if we can't use it to get from point A to point B via cars, trucks, ships, boats, and airplanes. Converting transportation to electricity is the next big challenge. Do that, and the reason for whining about a global warming crisis will disappear. Whether it is real or it is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated upon mankind, achieving electric cars and natural gas fired electricity with as much wind and solar as we can afford to build, and taking manufacturing away from everyone else that can't do it as cleanly (virtually everyone) will be the ultimate solution.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.

Working...